Aaron Thompson conviction legal magic trick

Put money on it: One of the roughly three-hundred legal dramas currently clogging the TV airwaves will offer up a variation on the Aaron Thompson murder trial before the season is out. And no wonder, since Thompson's conviction on 31 of 55 counts filed against him in relation to his daughter, Aaroné, strains credulity at first blush.

Authorities think Aaroné, who was reported missing in 2005, may have been killed as early as 2003 -- the operative word being "think," since they've never found her body, much less figured out precisely what happened or when. Poof! She simply disappeared. But prosecutor Bob Chappell and his team had one enormous advantage going for them: Thompson is demonstrably one of the vilest pricks to ever draw breath -- a glowering slab of doom according to the seven surviving children once sentenced to live with him and Shelley Lowe, who dodged her own culpability in the Aaroné matter by dint of being dead. So horrible were the tales that came out during the course of the long trial that the jury was bound and determined to convict Thompson of something just to put a set of bars between him and them.

Attorney Scott Robinson's column about the outcome mostly stays away from legalese, declaring in its headline that Thompson was "Mostly Guilty, But All Heinous," which pretty much sums things up. Mr. Chappell, meet Sam Waterston.


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